Nnedimma Okorafor wins Soyinka Prize for Literature

Nnedimma Okorafor and Nobel laureate Wole Soyinka

Nnedimma Okorafor

Nigerian-American author Nnedimma Okorafor is the winner of the 2008 Soyinka Prize for Literature for her novel Zahrah the Windseeker.

This is the second year that the biennial prize, first awarded by the Lumina Foundation in 2006, has been given. From 126 entries the judges chose three finalists: Beast of The Nation, by Uzodinma Iweala; The Weaving Looms, by Wale Okediran; and Zahrah The Windseeker, by Nnedimma Okorafor.

From the Foundation’s website:

The Wole Soyinka Prize for Literature in Africa was established by The Lumina Foundation in 2005. It was conceived as a very prestigious prize in honour of Africa’s first Nobel Laureate in literature to celebrate excellence in all its cerebral grace, its liberating qualities, the honour and recognition it brings to a myriad of people, of diverse cultures and languages. This prize honours people who have used their talents well enough to affect others positively. It honours Africa’s great writers and causes their works to be appreciated. It celebrates excellent writing, promotes scholarship and makes books available and affordable by subsidizing the publication of books in the top list of the judges. This is a pan African prize, viewed also as Africa’s NOBEL prize. It unifies Africans, celebrates Africa’s great minds, brings home Africa’s best intellectuals as judges, entertainers, great communicators and leaders in their own rights.